I told Jenefer about my love for the books and movies, and how I could sense the exhibit really went above and beyond to cater to fans' passion for the franchise. Jenefer shared that fans' passion for the story is what drove the inspiration around the interactive exhibit.
The exhibit has sections in each room called "The Power of One" where guests can share what they would do if they were in the middle of the war with the Capitol. For example, one of the interactive sets asked if I would choose charity or sacrifice if in the midst of the war. I chose charity, and when the rest of the results revealed to me that a majority of guests chose sacrifice (by a landslide, I might add) it showcased the real power these books and films have.
"We have really passionate fans, and we are moving towards a more immersive experience through these activities. We want to encourage people to think as they move through the exhibition."
Katniss is an inspiration to the people of the 13 districts, and they trust her so much they would give their life for the cause she represents. That heroism transcends to book readers and viewers of the films - we, too, want to believe in Katniss. Jenefer shares that this is exactly what she and her team wanted to produce for this active experience: "We wanted people to think about the choices the characters made in the films, choices they've made in their own life or in society ... really think about the big picture."
This theme played throughout the exhibit - guests are invited to experience what Katniss and her peers did first-hand. The Game Room part of the exhibit has an interactive replica of what Seneca Crane used in the first part of the series, and there's even an area where you can sit down and have your own one-on-one with Stanley Tucci's iconic character Caesar Flickerman. (Fun fact: Jenefer shares that the suit the model is wearing is the actual suit from the film):
Jenefer told us that they even worked with Suzanne Collins (the author of the books) to create an interactive display that showed exactly where the 13 Districts are on a real United States map, confirming that she used the USA's geographical influence to build The Hunger Games world. Guests can tap into each district, learning more about why Suzanne chose to represent each of them as she did.
There's so much that went into honoring what Suzanne created in her series, and for the first time fans are able to experience their love for the story outside of a book or movie theatre. This active experience makes The Hunger Games more than a franchise, but a personal experience.
"While there are so many wonderful aspects to the props and the costumes that we have from this film franchise, we also wanted to do something different than a lot of other [similar] exhibitions, so fans [and hopefully new fans] can see the amazing thinking that went into these novels and these [character] stories ... history, science, and culture play such a big part."
The exhibit is a fantastic farewell for uber-fans that are still dealing with the end of the films, and it's also great for new fans to jump-start their journey into Katniss's world. The final room alone is enough to give any fan - new or old - major feels (Jenefer shares this is her favorite room.) Once you complete the exhibit, you're brought into a room with Katniss's costumes throughout the entire series: Her hunting grab, wedding dress, Mockingjay dress, and her iconic uniform.
The exhibit runs in New York City until January 3. Buy your tickets here and use this promo code for a discount: panemholiday.
"Creating moments like that for fans is so rewarding. It's a really magical thing we've been able to create."